×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Too Great A Lady: The Notorious, Glorious Life of Emma, Lady Hamilton
     

Too Great A Lady: The Notorious, Glorious Life of Emma, Lady Hamilton

4.5 2
by Amanda Elyot
 

See All Formats & Editions

Emma Hamilton is renowned as the real-life heroine of the greatest love story in British history. Now, Amanda Elyot breathes new life into this remarkable woman, in what might have been Emma's very own words.

The impoverished daughter of an illiterate country farmer, young Emily Lyon sold coal by the roadside to help put food on the family's table. By the time

Overview

Emma Hamilton is renowned as the real-life heroine of the greatest love story in British history. Now, Amanda Elyot breathes new life into this remarkable woman, in what might have been Emma's very own words.

The impoverished daughter of an illiterate country farmer, young Emily Lyon sold coal by the roadside to help put food on the family's table. By the time she was fifteen, she had made her way from London nursemaid to vivacious courtesan, and continued a meteoric rise through society, rung by slippery rung, to become the most talked-about woman in all of Europe, mistress of many tongues, a key envoy in Britain's and Italy's war against the French, and confidante to a queen.

This novel, inspired by her remarkable life, recounts Emma's many extraordinary adventures, the earth-shattering passion she eventually found with Lord Nelson, and how they braved the censure of king and country, risking all in the name of true love.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In order to eventually take her place in history as mistress of turn-of-the-19th-century English war hero Horatio "Hornblower" Nelson, Emma Hamilton must first socially ascend "rung by slippery rung" in Leslie Carroll's bright, meticulously researched novel (her third historical written as Elyot). A roadside coal peddler as a child in North Wales, Emma arrives in London at age 12 and works as a nursery maid, brothel entertainer, medicine-show chorus girl and mistress to several titled gentlemen before marrying Sir William Hamilton, "envoy extraordinary and ambassador plenipotentiary to the Court of the Two Sicilies." As Lady Hamilton, Emma becomes a close confidante of Queen Maria Carolina of Sicily and is pivotal in cementing England and Sicily's alliance as the Napoleonic wars get underway. Friendships with Haydn, Goethe and Marie Antoinette don't prepare Emma for Nelson, with whom she ultimately embarks on a scandalous five-year affair. Elyot gives Emma a rippingly bawdy, occasionally self-aggrandizing first-person, that, while sometimes grating, rings true. The result is an energetic portrait of a unique historical figure. (Feb.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780451220547
Publisher:
Penguin Group (USA)
Publication date:
02/06/2007
Pages:
432
Product dimensions:
8.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.92(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Amanda Elyot is a popular author of historical fiction. She is a Cornell graduate and a professional actress.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

Too Great A Lady: The Notorious, Glorious Life of Emma, Lady Hamilton 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Amanda Elyot really knows how to put a reader into the time and place of her books. TOO GREAT A LADY is about Emma, Lady Hamilton, who rose from poverty on her ability to seduce men then, after she finally got married, went on to have an infamous affair with England¿s greatest war hero, Lord Horatio Nelson. Emily Lyons started as a lonely, dirt poor child in cold, cruel North Wales. She managed to escape to London where she came into the good graces of several 'protectors', who made sure she was properly educated introducing her to the arts and languages. She used her ever increasing knowledge and wiles to advance from one high born gentleman to the next, seeking ever better opportunities for prosperity and fame. While she had a great need for wealth and true love, she was passed from one man to another, cavalierly...more like a collector's item than a person with genuine emotions and feelings. Her alliances were more like 'business' deals they benefitted the men, yet betrayed her. Twice she was forced to renounce the daughters she bore (with two different lovers). And, while she continued to love them, she never revealed her true relationship to them. In doing this, she assured a good life both for herself and for her children. Yet, as flawed as she was, she was also a compassionate and loving nurse and care giver to her men and others she truly cared about. When she eventually married Sir William Hamilton, His Majesty¿s Ambassador to the Two Sicilies, she moved to Naples with him, where she had an influence on the politics and intrigue of the day when she became the confidante and closest friend of Queen Maria Carolina. She served as a courier and translator for the Queen -a dangerous undertaking -and in doing so helped thwart the invading army of French republicans. Although she became the darling of Neapolitan Society -feted by all the cognoscenti ¿she was never recognized by the British Crown for her efforts. She spent the end of her life in a London debtor's prison trying to maintain her lifestyle with no income to sustain it. Emma Hamilton literally went from poverty to poverty. In between she lived the highest life possible. Amanda Elyot has written a wonderful book about a heroine hardly known in popular literature. She lets readers really envision the delight and despair of her subject¿s multi-faceted and exciting life.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Before she became known as ¿The Notorious Emma¿, ¿Lady Hamilton¿, or ¿That Woman¿) Emma Hamilton was born in poverty in the 1760s in Wales. She escaped to London Town by the mid 1780s by performing as famous women of history or mythology like Circe on the stage. There she perfected the lessons she learned in Welsh country of the Attitudes of affectation as not even Cleopatra could perform the role of herself better than the overly pretentious sexuality that Emma displayed. By the early nineteenth century ¿That Hamilton Woman¿ became the lover of the Napoleonic War hero Lord Nelson. After his death, she fell back into poverty before dying in exile in 1815 with young Horatia (who might have been the offspring of Emma and Nelson) as her only companion her beloved¿s family only provided part of her Bronte pension as they cut her out of Lord Nelson¿s will. --- This is an interesting historical ¿autobiography¿ as Lady Emma Hamilton tells her story in a mostly first person account. The tale showcases a woman who uses her sexual lures as a means to feed her and her mother via a strong of protectors until her last one Lord Nelson is apparently the one. Though not for everyone, fans of Georgian-regency romances will want to read the tale of the most notorious kept woman of the era she used her siren skills to keep food on the table for herself and her mom in just about the only way a single unprotected female could during that period while eventually with Nelson forming one of the great romances of all time. --- Harriet Klausner